tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN December 22, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EST
since the beginning of the first mass shooting at the texas bell tower in 1967. these events have just proliferated along with the increased killing power of weapons that are on the streets. so it is a big problem today. >> i might just add, this debate is really only beginning. it has only been a week since this massacre in newtown. the nra will be irrelevant because it cannot be a credible and constructive participant in this debate if they say the only acceptable solution is armed guards in schools. better school security may be part of the solution, but it also has to include a ban on assault weapons which have that
kind of firepower that endangers everyone as well as other measures. i think the key question is going to be making america safer. that will be the challenge. ultimately, i think the ark of this debate will swing toward strong, serious proposals. the american people will not stand by idly for another newtown. >> thank you, everybody. thank you.
>> next, a look at negotiations rubble around the so-called fiscal cliff on friday here in washington. first, speaker boehner's morning news conference, followed by house minority leader's nancy pelosi i. then president obama friday afternoon from the white house. issue is not whether health care will be stigmatized or condemned. we know the answer to that. the issue is how many different times can the government to punish him as a result of that moral condemnation. the answer in the double jeopardy clause is one. >> starting monday and a threat christmas week, c-span.org radio is featuring supreme court arguments by current justices
before they were on the bench. you can listen to c-span.org radio in the washington baltimore area at 90.1 fm. or online at c-span.org. >> if you worked for him, you would get a material, sometimes generous, sometimes over barry -- overbearing, almost cruel boss. he did not know how to apologize. men of his age and class, they are not going to apologize to their secretaries or typist. he had a way of turning the tables in his version of an apology, which would be to say, i am actually a very kind man, and you are doing a good job today, but the issue was never settled. he always had to get the last word in. one night and going through --
one night going through a white hall, a german bomb fell. his bodyguard push him into a door. a couple of men -- he did not like to be touched. he said, thompson, do not do that. thompson said, sir, you should not be out here. churchill said, i am only doing this because i know you love to. >> on extended "q&a" with paul reid. sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> house speaker john boehner spoke to reporters on friday morning about the fiscal cliff and why his plan b legislation that was pulled from a houseboat -- why is plenty was pulled from a vote on thursday evening. speaker boehner said about the fiscal cliff, "got only knows."
he. -- he appeared with eric cantor. this is about 10 minutes. >> the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass. it is not the outcome that i wanted. was the will of the house. unless the president and congress take action, tax rates will go up on every american taxpayer and devastating defense cuts will go into effect in 10 days. the house has already passed bills addressing the fiscal cliff. we passed a bill replacing the president's sequestered with irresponsible spending cuts. we did that last may. we passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes on the american people scheduled to take effect january 1, and we did that august 1. and we proposed plans over and over again that democrats used to support but now will not.
i do not want taxes to go up, republican do not want texas to go up. but we only when the house. democrats continued to run washington. what the president has proposed so far simply will not do anything to solve our spending problems. he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. and he simply will not deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our country. we need significant spending cuts and real tax reform to address our long-term debt problem and pave the way for long-term growth and real growth in jobs in our country. we will continue to work with colleagues in the house and senate on a plan that protect families and small businesses from the fiscal cliff. >> i think we saw last night yet again the next chapter in this saga of trying to resolve the situation of the fiscal
cliff. it is clear that our conference has been consistent in its commitment to do something about the spending problem in washington and the mounting debt that has resulted. we stand ready to continue in dialog with this president to actually fix the problem. i hope that we see that our colleagues on the other side of the capitol can do likewise to get serious to address the real problem of spending so that we can get on about the business of growing economy and getting people back to work. >> a lot of the arguments that you made [inaudible] [inaudible] the president and i had a series of conversations.
i told president these were my bottom lines. the president told me his numbers, $1.30 trillion in new revenues, $850 billion in spending cuts, was his bottom line. he could not go any further. so we see a situation where, because of the political divide in the country, because of the divide here in washington, trying to bridge the differences has been difficult. if it were easy, i guarantee this would have been done decades before, but we have to find a way to address this significant spending problem that we have come and we need to find a way through tax reform to begin to grow our economy in a way that will create more jobs for our country.
>> what is the path forward? [inaudible] are you willing to put a vote on the floor [inaudible] >> there is no senate bill that has come to the house. as you know, the senate bill had a problem and continues to sit in the senate. we do not have a senate bill. we do have a house bill that sits in the senate at extended tax rates for all americans. we have been waiting since august for the senate to act. if the senate wants to act on that bill, we will certainly take a look at it. >> [inaudible] >> i am interested in solving the major problems that face our country. that means house leaders, senate leaders, and the president are going to continue to have to work together to
address those concerns. >> [inaudible] >> i have not given consideration to it. we have a spending problem. we have to address it. we are not going to address it by kicking the can down the road, which is what you are suggesting. >> [inaudible] are you quitting? >> absolutely not. i am proud of what we've done. what mr. cantor outlined last night was that the house would come back, if needed.
we are prepared to come back, if needed. >> mr. speaker, it sounds like you are walking away from the talks. >> i did not say that. nobody ought to read anything into this. we have differences, but the country has been expanding problems. we have to get serious about addressing them. >> [inaudible] >> listen, the president knows i have always been able to deliver on any promise i have made with him. the concern that i had was that time was running short. the idea that taxes would go up on every american taxpayer i thought was wrong. trying to address the tax issue, i thought, was important to do it now, so that we do not have taxes go up on every american and hurt our economy. >> [inaudible]
>> listen, there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes. i disagree with that characterization of the bill, but that impression was out there. we had a number of our members who just really did not want to be perceived as having raised taxes. that was the real issue. one of my colleagues the other night had an analogy of 100 people drowning in a pool, and that he was a lifeguard. because he could not save any of them, does that mean that he should not have done anything? his point was, if i can go in there and save 99 people that are drowning, that is what i should do as a lifeguard. but the perception was out there and a lot of our members did not want to deal with it.
>> [inaudible] are you willing to pass a bill [inaudible] >> we have passed a bill and is sitting in the senate. we passed a bill to deal with the sequester. what we were trying to do this week was to basically jumpstart and try to kick into gear some action by the senate to avert these tax increases go into effect january 1. >> with all due respect, what impact do you think pretty of the bipartisan grand bargain that you could check with president obama could have on [inaudible] >> at some point we have to address the spending problem we have, but we can now cut our
way to prosperity. we need real economic growth. many believe on both sides of the aisle at the fundamental reform of our tax code will help get our economy moving faster and put more americans back to work. and more americans with tax credit. how we get there, i do not know. all i know that we are committed to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capital and white house, to address this. >> last week, i ask you if you were concerned about losing the speakership. in light of what happened last night, if you're not concerned, should you be? >> no, i am not. you have all heard me say this. i have told my colleagues. if you do the right things every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen. while we have not been able to get the votes to avert 99.8% of
the tax increases, i do not think -- they were not taking that out on me. they are dealing with a perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. thank you. law before the president delivered his remarks, he spoke with house speaker john deere. speaker boehner will return to the holidays -- will return to washington after the holidays. >> house minority leader nancy pelosi and other democratic leaders also briefed reporters on friday. the your pelosi says that she remains optimistic and that
congress should not leave washington without a clear path to a solution. they also responded to the nra's news conference from earlier in the day. this is about 35 minutes. >> good afternoon. for weeks, we have an saying that christmas is coming, and time is growing short. now christmas is upon us, and there is very little time left, but there is still a chance. there is still a chance to reach an agreement that is balanced. the president made concessions in his latest proposal, and we
hope republicans will consider it so we can iron out for their differences and bring it to the floor. president obama moved closer to the republicans on rates, tax rates, and said that in terms of spending cuts, he was willing to make more spending cuts. all contrary to the representations' about his position that you may have heard. every time we are close to a solution, whether it was a year- and-a-half ago in the summer or right now, the republicans walkaway. when we thought we were close this week, republicans decided to follow another path, a path that led them over the cliff, a route in which they did not have the votes. that was then. this is now. let's go back to the negotiation table. we have no right to walk out the door of congress with no clear path to a resolution of this challenge. it is time to get back on track,
back to the negotiating table. we must work together in a bipartisan way to create jobs, grow the economy, strengthen the middle-class, reduce the deficit, and to do so in a responsible way. we can and we must get the job done now. i am pleased to yield to the distinguished democratic legislator, steny hoyer. >> i thank the leader for her comments, and certainly agree with her. last night's vote showed us the resolving the challenge of the fiscal cliff cannot and will not be done with a partisan vote. it showed us that we must work together in a bipartisan way, he and that we must preclude going over the fiscal cliff, by a balanced agreement that democrats and republicans him support, the president can sign, and that can pass the senate. we should not seek taxes go up
on working-class americans. we should not see doctors put a risk in terms of their delivery of services to seniors. we should not see the alternative minimum tax and put at risk. we need to lend confidence to our country. some years ago, he confronted partisan gridlock. newt gingrich and bill clinton got together to reach an agreement it was very controversial. newt gingrich said -- this is october 20, 1998. "i will say to each and every member of this house, unless they have a plan they think can get 218 votes over here, can pass through a filibuster in the senate, and get signed, there is no responsible vote
except yes." america expects its congress to get to yes. we are prepared to work with the speaker and with the republican leadership. we all need to be willing to work with the president of united states to get to yes, for our country and for our constituents. now, and want to yield to my very dear friend, the assistant leader of the democratic caucus, my friend jim clyburn, from south carolina. >> think you very much, representative hoyer. last year, when the tea party republicans stymied the efforts of the deficit reduction committee that we called "the supercommittee," we said at the time that it would take a definitive election to decide
the matter. november 6, the american people spoke. the american people spoke very clearly, and i think decisively. president obama has won all but one of the soda ash called swing states. he won a landslide victory in the electoral college, and he won the popular vote by more than 4.5 million votes. democrats in the senate added to their numbers, and won a popular vote margin of 56-44. and here in the people's house, more than 1.5 million more americans voted for democrats then voted for republicans. the american people have spoken
loud and clear, yet the republican leadership continues to exercise extreme partisanship, in defiance of the will of the people. i am hopeful that the spirit of the season will take hold over the next several days, and we can come back here after christmas with less partisan extremism, and work together to achieve honorable compromises that will arrest the widening wealth step and create more fear of violence approaches to -- fair and balanced approach is to address in our nation's most urgent charges. i will yield to joe crowley of new york.
>> in politics, it is not a zero sum game. the least, that is my belief. it ought not be. we need to work together. there is no partisan path toward a solution. every solution facing our nation's problems must be done in a bipartisan way. that means that neither side gets 100% of what they are looking to achieve. what we saw last night was really an abdication of the process. the president has been working in good faith with speaker boehner, continues to what to do that. it is my hope we can come back to the table and continue to work with the president to work out a solution. what we have seen is something we have observed from our side of the aisle for the last four years. the republican caucus, whether the minority or majority, refused to work with our side of the aisle. the people of this election
spoke otherwise. they want to see us working together. they want to see us lead him to the 113 congress, working in a more bipartisan way. i would like to turn it over to the ranking member of the budget committee, an ally in the fight for the american people. >> thanks, and it is great to be here with our colleagues. this morning, speaker boehner said the following. the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass it. it is not the outcome of wanted. the was the will of the house. that is what speaker banner said from this podium this morning. what we are doing today is calling upon the speaker to put something on the floor of the house that can pass the house. it should be a bipartisan bill,
onto the floor of the house, and let the house worked its will. the house has said no to speaker boehner's plan b. it is time to say yes to a balanced, compromised bill. at the very least, the speaker should take up the bill the senate has already passed on a bipartisan basis, so we can do that right away. there is nothing to stop the speaker from taking up that bill tomorrow or any day. nothing in the law. nothing in the rules of the house. if he takes it up, he will allow the house to work its will on that particular bill. we call upon the speaker to allow the house to work its will, as it did last night in saying no to plan b.
this house will say yes, we believe, to a bipartisan, compromise bill. we believe it will say yes to the senate-passed bill that is already pending. with that, and when to turn it over to our good friend and colleague. >> think you very much. i have learned in government or politics, when you say, "my way or the highway," you usually end up on the highway. republicans have abdicated their responsibility to get this done. they need to come back to washington. they need to negotiate a compromise, based on what the president put forward. it is time to get to plan c. plan c is compromise, and plan c is comprehensive. come back to washington. work on a compromise, the basis of which should be the
president's compromise. every time we have offered a compromise, the republicans have gone in the other direction. we were here. they were there. we went this direction. they have left town. that is no way to cut a bill that is comprehensive. we urge them to return to washington and avoid the fiscal cliffs. with that, i will turn it back to our leader. >> as the speaker said last night, "the house did not take up the bill because we did not have votes to pass it. it is not the outcome that i wanted." that was not the will of the house. it may have been the will of the caucus. you do not know the will of the house until you bring the bill to the floor. i believe there would be bipartisan support for the $250,000 proposal we have as a
discharge petition. i think that is why they did not bring it up. they knew how republicans would vote for it. any questions? >> [indiscernible] given what happened last night, is there any appetite to change the proposal, to take some things out of it that your caucus does not like? >> i think the best thing to do is to go to the table. the fastest thing to do is to bring it to the floor for consideration. and it up so we can iron out our differences. go to the table so we can iron out our differences. i believe that can be done. when the president came forward with a proposal this week, it was on the strength of how close the president and the
speaker had them. the president came closer to the speaker's position, in terms of spending cuts and tax rates. every time we agree to changes, they go to a different field altogether. although many of us do not like every aspect of the president's proposal, and if we did, probably the republicans would reject it -- it is a compromise on both sides. that is a good place to start. i believe my colleagues will speak to that. >> if it is pretty clear you were all going to vote against plan b, speaker boehner said this was to avert going off a cliff. if these tax increases passed without a vote, and what to do you think about being so
strongly against the vote? >> first of all, we are here for the middle class. this bill was a direct assault on the middle class. the idea that the speaker says "i am given additional tax cuts to the wealthiest in the country, while i raise taxes on the middle-class," i do not think that is a good idea. >> the bill had no chance of passage through the united states senate and was not going to be signed by the president of the united states. we were concerned that we were wasting a 72 to 120 hours at a time when the clip confronts us in just a few days, and action on behalf of working americans is essential.
in order for action to occur -- that is why i referred to mr. gingrich. we have to have a bill that can get to the senate and be signed by the president. we did not want to waste another 96 hours, so i am pleased that this was defeated. it was defeated not on the house floor, but in the republican conference. apparently, a pretty heated conference. i would urge the speaker to again and sit with president obama and reached a compromise that will be a reasonable one, and that confront the fiscal challenge that confronts our country, which is what this has been about, and to confront doing things essential to do between now and january 2. the other aspect that needs to be addressed -- the opposition, was that a partisan bill was
being put forward, a partisan bill that does more to give republicans a place to stand them it was legislation that would give relief to america. >> i think it is very important for us to really take a look at what was being proposed. if my reading is correct, and i am no expert on these matters, but i can tell you i read that the sequester was being postponed or gotten rid of in this proposal. by getting rid of all the deductions.
by cutting food stamps. by getting rid of unemployment. this is a strange time of year to be making those kinds of proposals. those of the things we were objecting to. we want this to be fair and balanced, and i do not think it is fair to balance this budget are in the back of those people who can ill afford those kinds of cuts. >> taking it to the point he did, about the tax cuts in the reconciliation bill on the floor, it was a terrible combination. it is like a reverse robin hood. you are giving a $50,000 tax cut to people making over a million dollars a year, at a cost of $1,000 to middle income taxpayers, because of changes in the law that affected them.
at the same time, the have a reconciliation bill that says 20 million children would have reduced nutrition and food benefits. and 1.4 million seniors would not have meals on wheels. the list goes on and on. when people say, why can't you come to agreement? if you want to come to agreement, you can. but if you are coming close to agreement and you start taking food out of the mouths of babies and seniors to give tax cuts to the wealthiest and tax bills to the middle class, as well as keeping hundreds of billions of dollars on the national debt, because we do not believe in government, it is hard to come to agreement. i believe there are enough republicans who do want to reach a solution. that is why we are hopeful that
something can happen. >> the nra press conference -- >> we will come back to that. >> do you believe there are 122 republicans who are willing to vote for a deal that democrats and the president can back? and what other concessions are democrats in the house willing to put on the table? >> in return for what? >> 120 republicans. >> the package is the package. it is not about us. it is what it means to the great middle class. when we did the much talked about iraq vote, there were 86 democrats, over 140 democrats
voting against. that is 60% of my caucus against what i brought to the floor. 120 is not the number. the number is, what does it mean to middle income families? >> the president has already met the republicans more than halfway. i think people who have been following these negotiations recognize the president has already moved remarkably over a short time. remember that he originally proposed a revenue of 1.6 trillion dollars. people who have been following the conversation now that is less revenue than proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. the president got that from 1.6 trillion dollars to $1.20 trillion. the president has significantly increased cuts he is willing to make.
that comes on top of one trillion dollars in cuts as part of the budget control out. and even higher number, if you look at cuts taken over the last year, including some very controversial provisions that many of us in our caucus have serious reservations about. it is indication of the fact the president is able to meet the republicans more than half way. i think the president has struck the balance. i think the speaker should bring up the bill like the. it is parents and compromise. leader pelosi did when she was speaker of the house. with a bill that dealt with the iraq war -- these are big, national moments. the full house should be able to work its will, democrats and republicans together. it is important the speaker put the good of the country above republican house caucus
politics. >> just one more on this, because we have to go to work. >> characterized the offer is heat and the president traded last week as their bottom line. he has gone as far as he can go. >> are you talking about the next proposal? this is so out of context for me, i do not know. i think we can come to the table, iron out differences. that is how we will find everybody's bottom line. the bottom line is that the american people are working today. where is the congress? why have we not finish this task? we have had a week after week of two-day sessions. no, people are leaving.
nobody knows what is going on, in terms of the schedule. we are coming to the end of the line, in terms of this year. we have to get it done. we have to avoid downgrading our credit rating. we have to avoid cuts to our investments in the future -- infrastructure, education. those kind of investments bring more money to the treasury. the conversation i have had with the president last night, i know he believes we must avoid the cliff, and we need to get something done. i cannot explain to anybody what the path the republicans took this week was about. how was that about? what were they trying to prove? first, they had the $250,000
that would be on the floor. i thought republicans would vote for it. that is why they pulled it. then, they have this $1 million plant, this $50,000 christmas gift to people making over $1 million a year, paid for by a $1,000 increase to the middle- class. when the president asked the leader, what is the mood? how you see this from your perspective? i say to him what i say to you. i do not know what their bottom line is. i do not know if they know what their bottom line is. it would be interesting for them to tell you. the bottom line is what i just described in the bill yesterday. $50,000 if you make over $1 million. if you are a senior on meals and wheels or a child who needs access to nutrition, for no sgr, which is the ticket for seniors to have access to
medicare -- it is not responsible. and it is not clear to see what the path might lead. i still have confidence that the speaker and some in the caucus who have ideology and doctrinaire approaches, when you come to the table, you have a responsibility to legislate. try to influence the decision the best you can, but to find a solution. >> my question is about the nra. wayne lapierre called on congress to pass legislation to put armed guards in every school.
do any of you think that is a good idea? >> i think it is an incredibly false notion to think that simply by having armed guards in our schools, somehow that will deter someone who is dead on trying to take a only the lives of other people, but themselves as well. i think it is the opposite direction the american people want us to move him. as pertains to the issue of guns and who has access to them, as well as the mental health issues we are facing -- i think we need to look at this in a more rational way. i think the way the nra is approaching this is irrational. i think the american people understand that. they were expecting a completely different response.
i think what we are looking for from the nra is a more collaborative approach. what can you bring? what can you talk about that will move the country forward? >> i do not believe those remarks represent anywhere near a significant portion of america. i do not believe, frankly, that they represent the majority of views of responsible members of the national rifle association. the one guns to hunt. they want guns to protect their home of their house. the recommendation of an arms escalation in america is not, i think, a solution the american people believe i am very hopeful that we will go in a direction which will say that these weapons of mass killing
capability will be limited. magazines will be limited. we will make sure that people who have access to dangerous weapons in fact are mentally healthy, to the extent that we can get there. i do not think those remarks, which i think or unfortunate, represent even the majority of his own members. i would be surprised if that were the case. this certainly do not represent the views of the overly majority of the american public. >> i was in the funeral service for a senator inouye and when those remarks were made. i did not hear them. he did say one way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. escalation is not a positive force.
we know this is complicated. we know that 90% of people who have been diagnosed or have a mental illness do not engage in violent activity. all of a sudden, we are saying it is people with mental illness responsible for this. no, they aren't. that does not mean we should not care for those with mental illness. that is why we passed the mental-health parity bill, and have, in the affordable care act, parity for mental illness. it is very important. for the nra and others to sort of shield themselves by saying it is the mentally ill, and
therefore we need to have more armed cops in the schools, or more guns in the school -- will we have it on the teacher's desk? or, wait a minute. i have it locked up some place and go and get it? this does not make sense. we have to reduce violence. we need a reduction of violence in our society. the challenge we have in looking at mental illness, we co-sponsored legislation to build high-capacity assault magazines that enables somebody to have 30 shots instead of 10. that seems like a lot to me, but at least it gives somebody a fighting chance. to look at an assault weapons ban -- all these things are
being considered. maybe and injured vietnam vet could channel the energy of our caucus. i met with his and violence community the other night. you know what it all came back to? we understand about youth violence and the rest, but you have to get rid of these high- performance guns. magazines. whatever you call them. i called them a clip once, adn they told me i didn't know what i was talking about. they are a magazine. we are making all these cuts in samsa, where mental-health illness is addressed. they need to be addressed, in
addition to the influence on gun violence. we need to address violence in our society, in the glorification of it in some places. we have to address the actual issue of how do we give a fair chance. if anyone of us and everyone of you had a chance to pull that magazine out of the hands of the shooter to protect those kids, he would do it. we have the opportunity to do it not only physically, but legislatively, to take that out of the hands. you know congressman ron barbour, who was congresswoman giffords' assistant and was wounded that day. he has had 20 years of experience working in the community. he understands the gun violence issue and thinks the only way to keep the high-performance
magazines out of the hands of people with mental health challenges is to keep them out of the hands of everyone. i look forward to reading the full statement. chris murphy came out of the funeral and this is what he twisted. he comes out of the district of newtown. "walking out of another funeral, i was handed the nra transcript, the most revolting, tone-deaf statement i have ever seen. walking out of another funeral, i was handed the nra transcript, the most revolting, tone-deaf statement i have ever seen." thank you all very much.
>> on friday, president obama vowed that he would extend tax cuts for most americans by january. his remarks came as congress left washington without a plan and to avoid the fiscal cliff. the president met with senate majority leader harry reid and he also spoke with house majority leader john boehner. he hopes any deal would also include an extension of unemployment insurance and lay the groundwork for a larger deal. this is about seven minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. for the last few weeks, i have been working with the leaders of both parties on a proposal to get our deficit under
control, to avoid tax cuts -- to avoid tax hikes on the middle- class. and to make sure we can spur jobs and economic growth. a balanced proposal that cuts spending, but also ask the wealthiest americans to pay more, a proposal that will strengthen the middle class over the long haul, and our economy over the long haul. in the course of these negotiations, i offered to compromise with republicans in congress. i met them halfway on taxes and more than halfway on spending. today, i am still willing to get a comprehensive package done. i still believe that reducing our deficit is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our economy and the confidence of our businesses. i remain committed to working towards that goal, whether it happens all at once, or whether it happens in several different
steps. but in 10 days, we face a deadline. in 10 days, under current law, tax rates are scheduled to rise on most americans. and even though democrats and republicans are arguing about whether those rates should go up for the wealthiest individuals, all of us, every single one of us, agrees that tax rates should not go up for the other 98% of americans, which includes 97% of small businesses. every member of congress believes that. every democrat. every republican. so there is absolutely no reason not to protect these americans from a tax hike. but the very least, let us agree right now on what we already agree on. let us get that done. i just spoke to speaker boehner and met with senator reid.
i have asked congress to work on a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class americans, protect unemployment insurance for 2 million americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on growth and deficit reduction. that is an achievable goal. that can get done in 10 days. once this legislation is agreed to, i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it passed both chambers. i will immediately signed it into law before january 1 of next year. averting this tax hike is not a democratic or republican responsibility. with their votes, the american people have determined that governing is a shared responsibility between both parties. in this congress, laws can only pass with support from
democrats and republicans. and that means nobody gets 100% of what they want. everybody has to give a little bit in a sensible way. we move forward together, or we do not move forward and all. so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays, i hope it gives everybody some perspective. everybody can cool off. everybody can drink some eggnog and have some christmas cookies, sing some christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones. i would ask members of congress to think about the obligations we have to the people. think about the hardship that so many people will endure if congress does nothing at all. just as our economy is starting to recover, and we are starting
to see optimistic signs -- we have seen up statistics in a range of areas, including housing. this is not the time for self- inflicted wounds, certainly not those coming from washington. there is so much to be done on jobs, income, education, and energy. we are a week away from one of the worst tragedies in memory. so we have got work to do on gun safety. a host of other issues. these are all challenges we can meet. these are all colleges we have to meet, if we want our kids to grow up in america that is full of opportunity and possibility, as much opportunity and possibility that our parents and our grandparents left for us. but we are only going to be able to do it together. we are going to have to find some common ground. the challenge we have got right now is that the american people
are a lot more sensible and a lot more thoughtful, and much more willing to compromise and give and sacrifice and act responsibly, than their elected representatives are. that is a problem. there is a mismatch between how everybody else is thinking about these problems, democrats and republicans up side of this town, and how folks are acting here. we have to get the aligned. and we only have 10 days to do that. i hope every member of congress is thinking about that. nobody can get 100% of what they want. this is not simply a contest between parties in terms of who looks good and who does not. there are real world consequences to what we do here. i want next year to be a year of strong economic growth.
i want next year to be a year in which more jobs are created, and more businesses are started, and we are making progress on all the challenges we have out there, some of which we do not have as much control over as we do in terms of shaping a sensible budget. this is something within our capacity to solve. it does not take that much work. we just have to do the right thing. so call me an optimist, but i actually still think we can get it done. with that, i want to wish every american a merry christmas. and because we did not get this done, i will see you next week.
>> today on c-span, "washington journal" live with your calls, tweets, and e-mails, followed by a discussion on egypt costs dropped -- a vote on their draft constitution. later, a hearing on the conflict in the eastern congo. >> he worked -- if you worked for him, you would get a mercurial, sometimes generous, sometimes overbearing, sometimes cruel boss -- did not know how to apologize. many of his age and class, they will not apologize to a private secretary typist. he had a way of turning the tables in his version of an apology -- he would say, actually i am a very kind man, and you're doing a very good job today, but the issue is never
settled. he always had to get the last word in. one night, going through white hall, a german bomb fell. he should not have been out at all. his bodyguard thompson pushed him into a doorway. a couple of his men were slightly wounded. churchill the not like to be touched. he said, thompson, do not do that. thompson said, sir, you should not be out here, it is dangerous. churchill said, i am only doing this because i know you love to. >> and extended 90 minute "q&a" with paul reid. he is completing a three volume biography of winston churchill, "the last line." -- >> a focus t